Yanchep police must wait for body cameras

Body worn video cameras will be rolled in the Perth District by early 2019 but Yanchep police as part of the Joondalup District won’t be included. Picture: WA Police

YANCHEP police officers will have to wait longer to get the body worn video cameras announced by Police Commissioner Chris Dawson during the week.

Mr Dawson said he has approved the roll-out of the body worn video cameras as the first initiative of the new digital policing program.

The first phase will result in 200 cameras deployed within the Perth District to patrol-inquiry officers by early 2019.

A further 450 cameras are planned for the traffic enforcement group and Goldfields-Esperance and Pilbara districts by mid-2019, building up to a full complement of 3500 users across the state by the end of 2021.

Mr Dawson said the tender process would start next month for a ‘full service’ provider to deliver cameras and digital evidence software solutions for frontline officers.

“Body worn cameras are now commonly used in other policing jurisdictions, with potential benefits including improved evidence gathering and a greater opportunity to capture the whole of an incident rather than rely on piecemeal recordings,’’ he said.

The digital policing program will consider a range of mobility innovations that will potentially improve efficiencies and maximise opportunities on the frontline.

“The body worn cameras are the first step in this program of works – there is significant opportunity there to optimise how our frontline officers operate.”

A six-month trial of body worn cameras was conducted in Perth and Bunbury in 2016, and the results of that trial helped inform the pending roll-out of these devices.

“Feedback from our officers was quite positive, with 83 percent of those surveyed agreeing the cameras improved their ability to gather evidence and take accurate statements.’’